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The aim of this paper is to review the main questions dealt with by the literature on the effect of Internet on political participation. The paper distinguishes three relevant aspects: the estimation of the impact of Internet on the levels and types of political participation; the analysis of the causal mechanisms that lie behind the relationship between Internet use and participation; and the effect of the Internet on participatory inequalities. We conclude by identifying the aspects on which there is a relative consensus among scholars, the debates surrounding controversial conclusions obtained from different empirical analyses, and those questions where further research seems particularly necessary.
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Keywords: Internet; information and communication technologies; political participation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department de Ciencia Politica i Dret Public, Edifici B, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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